TERRA INCOGNITA: Artist Statement

TERRA INCOGNITA

The term “terra incognita" describes uncharted areas on a map, an unknowable and imagined landscape.  In my series Terra Incognita, I construct photographs that explore the interplay between abstraction and representation; works that teeter between the photograph itself—a material object—and a representational world that conjures imaginary depictions of unexplored places. I purposefully reveal the remnants of my artistic process to undermine the sense of familiarity created through the suggestion of geological forms.  I intend to challenge the viewer’s cognitive perceptions and assumptions about the photographic medium. These photographs aim to trigger collective memories of the external world and simultaneously question our expectations of how a photograph should look and be looked at.     

Ultimately the final object is photographic, but the physical act of making my images involves multiple tactics.  I apply materials generatively with iterations varying from the use of liquid cyanotype and Van Dyke brown photo-chemicals, charcoal, and instant film.  I physically crumple, fold, and crush to create additional textures.  Residual imprints resemble geological fissures and striations, yet in reality, these cracks are physical recordings of the absence and presence of light.  These layers create variations of color and form that, when photographed, lead to new associations of referential likenesses and question what is real and imagined as they map dripping chemistry, abrasions and markings.

As an artist who delights in experimentation and process, I am intrigued by light, and how when its qualities of absence and presence, color, form, and shadow are harnessed, a photographic reality of its own can be made visibly tangible and expressively deployed.